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Mitsubishi Hi-Uni Super DX "Brush Pencil"


One day we were at a nearby restaurant and I was looking at the wine list. Normally I don't order wine at restaurants unless it's a special occasion, but, just out of curiosity, I always look at the list, and find my eyes wandering towards the cheapest item, which is invariably house wine. It was $6.

I wished that instead of listing wine, they listed this pencil. Surely I would not hesitate to order it, as it is, in my opinion, a much better value than a glass of wine for the same price. It will last a lot longer too.

And this is a really nice pencil, as you will see from this review at Pencil Talk: Pencil Talk review of the Mitsubishi Super DX 8B pencil

Its outward appearance, that is, its lacquered finish, gold lettering, banding, and 4mm core (standard pencil leads are half the diameter*) distinguish it from ordinary pencils, and even from the venerable Hi-Uni from the same maker. In fact, you can hardly talk about these Super DX Hi-Uni pencils and the regular Hi-Uni pencils in the same breath. Pencil experts may detect hints of cherry in the finish, and a flutter of cedar scent from the business end.

In Japan, its nickname is the "brush pencil" because its thick, dark line, huge core, and smooth writing (due to a specially formulated oiled grahite) are popular for Japanese calligraphy known as "shodo".

Yes, $6 is quite expensive for a single pencil, but I'll take it over a single glass of house wine any day of the week.

Comes in two grades: 8B and 10B (the higher numbers are darker and softer).

* Aside from what seems to be a different lead formulation, here's an argument for why this pencil is actually a good value relative to the standard Mitsubishi Hi-Uni:

The Hi-Uni 8B can be found on Amazon for about $1.84 per pencil, when bought by the dozen. It has a standard 2mm core, while the DX has a 4mm core, and thus, more lead to write with. In this case, it has 4 times the amount of lead, but costs only 3.26 ($6 divided by $1.84) times as much! It's like getting 23% more lead for free. Here's the math:

Surface area of circle = pi(r^2). Thus,

Area of a 2mm core = 3.14(1^2) = 3.14(1) = 3.14 sq mm

Area of a 4mm core = 3.14(2^2) = 3.14(4) = 12.56 sq mm

Therefore, 12.56 / 3.14 = 4 times the surface area of a 2mm core

Price: 4 times the lead divided by 3.26 times the price = 123% (23% more)



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Product Reviews

  1. Uni Super Duper DX Brush 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 17th Oct 2015

    I purchased a few of the Mitsubishi Hi Uni DX in 10B and 8B and recently started using them. The description for these pencils was very amusing and quite accurate. It's possible that you might need a pencil holder to go along with these 2 pencils to provide that so called "brush" feel or just that fact that it could be beneficial to the experience. I placed the 10B in my Mitsubishi Uni Pencil Holder UPH-8000, which provided a wider pencil area to hold and it wrote beautifully. The graphite is much softer and the core is uniquely wider to provide the maximum area for that "brush" feel, so if you're looking for that particular characteristic in a pencil then this is something you should at least try out and see how you like it. For me, I really enjoyed writing with both the 8B and 10B grades :-) Of course, the kind of paper you choose to write on will also make a difference, not all papers will give the same feel when you write with pencils, so please also consider the type and brand of paper you are writing on. I love pencils and paper, so I have experimented with different pencil grades and paper types, and different combinations will give you what you might feel is the best texture and provides a unique style of penmanship :-D So I urge you to try out these beautifully made pencils, because they are a pleasure to write with :-)

  2. Hi Uni Super DX not so super-duper 3 Star Review

    Posted by on 28th Feb 2015

    I just received my (one) very-expensive Hi-Uni Super DX 10B pencil today. As a professional draughtsman I can most assuredly testify that the Hi-Uni Super DX 10B does NOT make darker marks than the professional class Mitsu-Bishi Hi-Uni 10B. Moreover, the circumference of the graphite in the Hi-Uni 10B is larger than the Super DX 10B. However, the graphite in the Super DX 10B is ever so slightly softer. Still, that does NOT necessarily mean it is darker. The Mitsu-Bishi Hi-Uni 10B pencils purchased by the box (1-dozen) are a far better deal (1.74 USD per pencil). In terms of the range of marks the two pencil can make, they are essentially identical. There is, no doubt, a slight variation in the graphite composition in the DX that might lend it to making particularly expressive Japanese writing. But, one should not think the regular professional Mitsu-Bishi Hi-Uni 10B incapable of making such marks. As for me, I won't be buying any more of these very expensive Super DX pencils.